At Signe Skott Cooper Hall (SSCH) – since 2014 the new home of the UW-Madison School of Nursing (SoN) – state-of-the-art learning environments support different aspects of blended and active learning:

  • The online, virtual spaces of the learning management system (D2L & Canvas), discussions (Piazza), video conferencing (WebEx), and eTextbooks (Elsevier VitalSource), where students explore materials that prepare them for the engaging, hands-on activities that take place in face-to-face classes in various innovative learning spaces of Signe Skott Cooper Hall, the new home of SoN, since the summer of 2014.


  • Four Active Learning Classrooms (ALCs)
    that provide ideal spaces for group work and team activities. Today’s rapidly-changing healthcare relies on teamwork, and it is increasingly important for nursing students to develop the skills necessary to work effectively as a team, and to quickly analyze, discuss, understand, and solve complex, real-life problems.Learning in an environment that requires students to engage actively with the topic, with other students, and with instructors produces better outcomes than passively listening to a lecture. Each of two large ALCs on the first floor of Cooper Hall can accommodate the entire junior or senior class of 153 nursing students (17 round tables of 9).
    Each table is equipped with a large flat-panel display that allow both instructors and students to share interesting content with all other students, or with just a part of the room. Each table has three video inputs for student BYOD laptops (required in all Nursing programs since 2013), nine power outlets, three Steelcase Verb whiteboards, and several three-colored dry-erase markers.Instructor’s console is equipped with iPads that not only allow faculty to manage the displays from anywhere in the room, but also provide a way to capture and share with the room the content of student whiteboards.The two large ALCs can be merged into a single classroom space, providing sufficient seating for all undergrads in the Nursing program: with a combined seat capacity for 306 students, it is the largest active learning classroom in the known Universe.The second floor houses two smaller (32-seat), similarly equipped ALCs that also add video conferencing and video capture capabilities.


  • Informal Learning Space of Curran Commons, connected to the spacious Atrium, complements the ALCs by providing a welcoming, light-filled, informal environment where students can gather to study, review, or just hang out after, or between classes. Flexible furniture can be used by groups of students working on class projects, and the area offers Wi-Fi connectivity, power outlets for charging laptops, glass whiteboards for jotting down and exploring ideas, and digital display panels students can use to share their content. During cold Wisconsin winters, the central fireplace adds warmth to this popular student-meeting area and social space. SoN and other health sciences students and faculty have 24/7 badge access to the Atrium, Curran Commons, and all first and second-floor classroom spaces.
  • Center for Technology-Enhanced Nursing (CTEN)
    More than half of the second floor of SSCH is devoted to clinical labs and fully-functional simulated clinical environments, including theWeikel Clinical Skills Area, the Shapiro Hospital Suite, eHealth Lab, Home Health, and a six exam-room Clinic.


  • Clinical Labs
    The Weikel Clinical Skills Area (image above) helps students develop and practice nursing skills, and offers a fully functional clinic with six examination rooms. The clinic area allows students to practice with standardized patients, specially trained actors who simulate behaviors, and symptoms of real patients in different scenarios. Nearby, the eHealth Laboratory will let students become familiar with the quickly developing discipline of e-health.



  • The Shapiro Hospital Suite (images above) offers state-of-the-art technology to enable student experience with high-pressure, high-stakes health emergencies in a safe setting. Five high-fidelity human patient simulators can stand-in for patients at different stages of their lives – from birth, childhood, and young age, to adulthood and advanced age. Each patient simulator can be used to help students actively engage in clinical cases developed to reinforce and enhance course content. In addition to four hospital rooms, two control rooms, and two debriefing rooms, our simulated hospital suite has a fully functional patient bathroom, a medication room, and a nurse’s station, where students can access a patient’s electronic health record before entering the room.


  • Home Health
    At the most acute stage of their illness, patients often find themselves at the hospital, but then spend most of the time in recovery at home where they often need nursing care and support. The simulated home environment (images above) recreates a fully-functional one-bedroom apartment where students can practice providing care in the setting in which patients find themselves most of the time. A raised floor will be able to accommodate future technology, such as floor sensors, and the area, like the hospital suite, is equipped with cameras and state-of-the-art video recording and debriefing system, as well as a one-way-mirror control room (that also simulates windows in the apartment).